Date published: September 19, 2016
Five things to do once you move in
Choose a Student Bank Account
Locating the most favourable student bank account can be a minefield, as banks want your custom. They’re aware graduates earn more money than the regular worker and want to build up loyalty with you, so be prepared to be overwhelmed with freebies, exclusive offers and more. The most important thing to be aware of is the overdraft. This lets you spend more than you’ve got (at no extra cost) up to a set amount, depending on which bank you join. Loaning amounts start from £1,500 and ensure you go for one with 0% APR. Going over the set amount could land you in hot water, with charges as high as £15 per transaction.
At Salford, choosing a bank is a little easier as we have our very own Santander branch on campus – Save the Student, the No.1 student money website, named Santander’s student account the ‘best value’ throughout the country. Once you’ve decided on your bank, you will need to have a few things to register:
- One or two forms of photo ID: such as a passport or driver’s licence
- Proof of address: such as a recent utility bill or bank statement
- Proof of student status: a letter of acceptance from your university, or UCAS offer letter.
At some banks, you’ll be able to register online but at others you’ll have to do it the traditional face-to-face way by going into your branch.
Save money on transport
Certain student bank accounts, including Santander, offer free 16-25 railcards which saves you up to a 1/3 off rail travel in Great Britain, as well as giving you access to some exclusive offers. However, if you opt for a bank that doesn’t offer the free railcard, you can pay £30 for a year or £70 for three years. Also, don’t worry if you’re over 25 as you can still buy a railcard as long as you’re in full time education, although you will need to provide evidence of continuing study every year.
Manchester’s bus companies also offer student travelcards. Stagecoach, who run the fifty bus which is free for you between the university and MediaCityUK, have a Unirider available that grants you unlimited travel on Stagecoach and Magic buses in Greater Manchester. You can either pay £105 for one term or £220 for a full year. First’s unirider is slightly more expensive at £240 for all term, not an annual year, £46 a month and £155 a term.
Register with our medical centre
At Salford we not only have our very own bank, we also have a medical centre just for students. Located in the Maxwell Building on the Peel Park Campus, this GP service runs throughout term and ensures you don’t have far to go to see a doctor. To register, simply visit the surgery on the third floor of the Maxwell Building – it’s signed from there. You can also call them on 0161 295 4209.
Sort your Council Tax exemption out
Council tax charges can be high as £3000 per annum but as a full time student you are exempt. After registering with the university online, you should receive an exemption certificate in your student email inbox. However, if you didn’t receive one you can request it online here - http://www.askus.salford.ac.uk/letters. All part time students do not qualify for council tax exemption regardless of the hours studied on the course.
Sign up for an NUS Extra card
This essential student discount card gives you over 200 UK student discount and comes with one year free ISIC unlocking over 42,000 international discounts. Purchasing it will get you 5% off Amazon, 10% off ASOS, up to 40% off Pizza Express, 25% off Odeon student priced tickets and 10% off at The Co-operative Food. Again, like the railcard, you can choose either a one year option at £12, a two year option at £22 or a three year option at £32. Also, for just £3.99 extra per year you can enjoy 2-for-1 meals or up to 50% off meals at around 5,000 top restaurants including La Tasca, Bella Italia, Café Rouge and Walkabout. The money spent on the card also goes to the National Union of Students, a not-for-profit company aimed at ensuring the best deal for students.